LSU Football's Strength Training Adaptations

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By Tom Moffitt

We've spent countless hours at LSU searching for innovative ways to train our athletes. Our objective is to build a balanced and well-developed athlete without always using mundane training methods.

To prevent our workouts from becoming stale, we combine dumbbell and bodyweight exercises with various starting positions and arm movements. This allows us to train the limbs individually while focusing on the core, balance and joint stability. For the following exercises, perform sets of 10-20 reps with light to moderate weight.

Alternating Dumbbell Upright Row

Benefit: Excellent auxiliary exercise for the snatch, clean and jerk, and builds upper body strength.

• Hold dumbbell in each hand while standing on floor, balance pads or Bosu ball with slightly-wider-than-shoulder stance
• Alternate pulling dumbbells to shoulder height
• Keep knees slightly bent to maintain balance and posture

Dumbbell Squat To Press

Benefit: Develops the core and upper- and lower-body strength and flexibility.

• Stand on balance pads or Bosu ball holding dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level
• Lower hips into squat; pause
• Return to starting position and press dumbbells over head
• Return dumbbells to shoulders and repeat entire movement

Dumbbell Single-Leg Bentover Row

Benefit: Develops hip, back and core strength.

• Stand on one leg holding dumbbell in each hand
• Bend at waist (keeping back flat) until chest is parallel to floor
• Start with arms straight, pointing toward floor
• Raise dumbbells to chest, one at a time or simultaneously
• Return to starting position
• Increase difficulty by standing on balance pads or Bosu ball.

Dumbbell Double/ Single-Arm Bench

Benefit: Develops specific strength, stability and coordination for linemen.

• Lie on bench holding dumbbell in each hand with arms extended
• Keeping left arm extended, lower right dumbbell to chest, pause, return to extended position
• Repeat with left arm, then lower both dumbbells to chest at same time
• Return arms to extended position
• Repeat cycle, counting 2 singles as 1 rep and 1 double as 1 rep

Single-Leg Push-Up With Medicine Ball

Benefit: Develops shoulder stability, core strength and muscular endurance for the upper body.

• Start in push-up position with hands on small medicine ball
• Lift one foot 12 inches off floor, keeping leg straight
• Lower chest to med ball and complete 10-20 push-ups for 1 set
• Repeat next set with opposite foot raised

Tom Moffitt has been Louisiana State University's head strength and conditioning coordinator since 2000, after holding the same position at The University of Miami. He was named the nation's top collegiate strength and conditioning coach in his final season with Miami and again in 2003 with LSU.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock